Last week when I made my decision I wrote a post & saved it, planning on editing it later. I'm scrapping it (save for a few select parts) & starting over.
I've updated the Bloggers Firearm Instruction page & added some links to the "Notable Posts" & "Blogroll" section of the sidebar. I'm not sure if it's best to include this here or leave it in the extended entry (that "always leave them laughing" mantra is hard to escape at times) but here's the clip of So Long & Thanks For All The Fish from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (ya gotta admit the baby dolphin part is cute as hell). Or if you prefer here's the scene from the Guide entry where it explains how God doesn't exist. Listen to it now or later at your leisure.
But the gist is that I'm not going to be writing here anymore. In fact I'll be writing here a lot less. I'm quitting in other words. I don't know if it will be permanent or just a very long sabbatical, but I know I'm not going check my site every day (or week or likely month). My guest bloggers/co-bloggers are of course welcome to post here as they always have been. But any new content will be them, not I.
Much thanks to Pixy for the space & to the folks who have read my words & argued with me about them over the years. I'll still be accessible for the friends I've made through here or who keep in touch via the site - my number & e-mail are the same. & I'll leave the Bloggers Firearm Instruction page up as long as Pixy will allow, & I'll update it every few months or so.
I'll ramble a bit in the extended entry about why I'm quitting. It'd be more interesting if I was quitting because of a lady, but in fact the opposite is true; I carried on as long as I did for a lady.
To be conciseÖ that's always eluded me. I'll try though.
I quit playing music because of circumstances. There's a blogger I know by the name of Harrington who reflected back on what made him quit & his experiences aren't that dissimilar from mine. In effect I "shrugged" in the Randian sense of the word. I saw too much effort being put into too little return, therefore I simply stopped. In fact aside from 2 exceptions (one being a close friend's passing) I haven't played my guitar in about 6 months.
So with the blog I'm "shrugging" but for slightly more complex reasons.
I started writing in blog format mainly to have a place to store arguments I'd find myself repeating in forums that I'd frequent. At some point I noticed that I wasn't hanging out in the forums any more. Then I rationalized 9for about 2 seconds) that I was writing to impress my then-current g/f. But her respect &/or admiration for me evaporated too quickly for me to use that as an excuse. Then I settled in on the idea that I was writing to make a difference. I never thought my take on things would catch on right now, but maybe in 50 or 500 years some kid would find my scribblings & be inspired to explore my ideas. I know, but I've always been a bit of a dreamer about such things.
The lady. Where & how she comes into things is too complex & too difficult to write accurately, but she's someone I care for very much. Around July I was thinking of giving things up here. But she & I - well she provided some sort of inspiration I guess. So I wrote.
In November (maybe October - it's hard to say exactly when she became estranged from me or when I became estranged from her) we fell out. & it was pretty bad on my end. In addition to some other factors converging around that time I did stop writing. But I noticed through my site stats that she kept coming around the blog. 3, sometimes 4 times a week even though we weren't speaking & I wasn't writing.
So I started writing again. For her.
At first I thought I was just getting back into my groove, but oddly enough Iíve learned lately that at times I say things to other folks that really arenít meant for them. In essence I sometimes try to tell other people things so I can figure my damn self out. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Despite our estrangement (& whether she or I were responsible for it - it's arguable either way) I care for her deeply. & since she was coming around I wanted her to have something from it. So I wrote.
But then I noticed something strange. At times I felt like I was writing not just for her, but almost to her. She was my target & sole audience in many posts that I wrote. I'd slip in little things that I thought she'd get a kick out of - I did that consciously, the "no; not that kind of rock" gag being the most oft repeated - but I started to realize I wasn't writing for the masses, or posterity, or even for myself. It was in the hopes that it'd amuse m'lady.
Funny, I've often speculated that if I were visiting her web site that it'd bother her in a "he's stalking me" sort of way (for the record I haven't been to her site since mid November) but it didn't bother me that she was still reading me. In fact I took some sort of odd comfort from seeing when she'd visit & read for a spell.
Now why would a lady who's no longer on speaking terms with me still read my blog? No idea. There are a few theories. One is that she's worried that I'll slander her in some way because of our falling out (which would mean that she really didn't know me that well). The one that's most popular amongst the few folks I've discussed the situation with is that for some reason she doesn't think direct contact with me would be wise, but she wants to keep some sort of an emotional bond with me & reading my blog accomplishes that for her. Of course that appeals to my ego too much, especially since it'd point to the idea that she cares & may wish to reconcile one day, so I try not to put too much weight on it.
I simply do not know. I just know that I miss her & perhaps she took some sort of comfort from reading me.
See I'm a sucker. Any cat will tell you that the second I walk into a room. With women I usually have my act more together but from the moment I met her I had a sweet spot set up just for her. Considering the circumstances of our estrangement I try not to let myself think she gives a damn about me in any capacity, but even that doesn't alter my compassion for her. So since I thought it might please her in some way, I wrote.
Sappy isn't it? I wish I could play it off as just part of my upbringing but it's not so much that. I just care for the girl. I don't care for many folks, especially not in the way I care for her, so it motivated me to try to keep our odd virtual connection.
& just to be clear, neither she nor I did anything morally wrong to cause our falling out. We simply did a few things that the other didn't care for & neither one of us had the best circumstances to try any sort of relationship in. I had a few things external to our situation that I was trying to deal with (albeit very poorly Ė it took me a few months to figure things out) as did she. So I don't want it assumed this is any sort of indictment against her. She's not perfect but I still think as highly of her as I do anyone. I just happen to think (on the surface at least, internally it's hard to accept) that she simply doesn't care in any meaningful way to associate with me, nor will she ever.
In any case I realized this more completely around the time I was interviewing Annika. In fact I deleted part of our conversation concerning this situation (my blogging motivation) & that's when it hit me the extent of what I was trying to do for her.
Which is why I'm quitting blogging. If I didn't I'd write damn near eternally (divided up into at least two posts) solely for her pleasure. & that'd be cool & all - hell I'd do damn near anything for her if she needed me to - if it weren't wrong of me.
For a 4 page post I usually spend 2 to 3 hours writing & researching. When I'm writing 7 days a week I spend between 20 & 40 hours of my time writing posts. Now I've learned to take it easier than I used to over the years, but I work hard. My job isn't that demanding physically but its 5 days a week now (for example in December I worked the entire latter half of the month, save x-mas & the solstice so Iíve cut down a bit). When I'm not working if I don't have someone to do something with I'll work in my spare time. Either on some project (i.e. building rifles, improving rifles, building furniture, working on my car, etc...) or here. If I have someone to do something else with (such as a g/f or at least someone I'm dating) then I can branch out & have fun, but without the "excuse" of entertaining someone else then I just work. (& honestly the last few months Ė maybe longer Ė Iíve giving up on the dating scene. Iíve had a few but nothing that I really cared to continue)
Funny, when I was playing music full time the more I'd gig the more I'd practice, but if I had few gigs I'd barely practice. There's gotta be something deeply psychologically telling in that, but I can't quite figure out what.
But it's wrong for me to expend as much effort as I am for someone's pleasure when I'm not even sure if I'm getting anything in return. At least that's what I'm telling myself. I don't really think that concerns me too much; as I said I'd do damn near anything that I could for her (even if I feel a bit like a sucker for doing so), I just get the sense that it's not helping the situation she & I are in (or not in as the case may be) if I use her as an audience & she uses my posts as some way to feel connected. She has my number & she knows where I live. I'm stubborn & perhaps a bit too quick to tell anyone to go to hell, but she should know that I'll always listen to her, or talk to her if she wishes.
So I'm not quitting because I'm frustrated with my love life (or lack thereof). It's because of the lady that I kept writing as long as I did. I just don't feel it's proper for me to write under the motivation that I have - namely that it's for her & not for myself. Hell, I don't even know if she still likes to read me or just hits my page out of habit, or to see if I've left town so she can start hanging out in my town again w/o worrying about running into me. The only feedback I've seen from her was on someone else's blog that I linked to (I recognized her writing - when you start missing the way someone types you know itís not a good thing...lol) so it could be that my rejection is complete & she doesn't dig my posts at all. With that in mind I just cannot justify the time & effort it takes to maintain this site.
& honestly I'm not that special a writer. There are many others (most of my blogroll in fact) who write better than I do & have similar or more developed views on the things I've written about. I donít think the blogosphere is going to miss me that much & I doubt her world will stop or even stutter if I stop writing.
So lack of internal motivation coupled with an external motivation that I find questionable for myself in some way is why I'm going to make this my last post.
& yes; somewhere very deep down inside I do hope that when/if she reads this that it'll give her the motivation to get off her ass & re-think this whole "not talking to Pub" thing as I'm way too stubborn to approach her with hat in hand asking for another chance. But luckily I've never been that much of an optimist so when it does not occur I won't be too shocked. Disappointed still most certainly, but not shocked.
As to what I'll do - who knows? I might leave the state & become a guitar player again someplace (though I really do like Colorado). I might stay around & go back to school. I might even say to hell with everything & take off on an extended camping trip. Or I might just work my job & go hermit (which I've partially done already - years of playing in clubs make quiet nights at home kinda cool) & fade into virtual & concrete obscurity (while in some alternate dimension Iíll run a successful chain of pirate apparel stores). Then there's always the "buying a sailboat & touring the world" option...
But I do appreciate y'all taking the time to read me, both today & over the years. Wish I could have been more helpful, or at least provided a delicious bass (you folks on the coast have no idea how much you'll miss seafood in a landlocked state).
& don't worry - "Publicola" is a good pseudonym. In a few weeks or months or years I'm sure a better writer than I will adopt it & carry on some cause, hopefully a good one. As for the guy behind this incarnation of "Publicola" - I'm a survivor. I'll be alright & land on my feet in some capacity whenever I decide to, even if I miss a lady & a cat whose name I never could get quite right.